Julius Lothar Meyer

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Julius Lothar Meyer
Julius Lothar Meyer
Meyer in 1883
Birthday/Birthplace 19 August 1830
Varel, Germany
Deceased 11 April 1895
Citizenship German
College(s) University of Würzburg, University of Breslau
Credit for Periodic table of chemical elements
Awards Won Davy Medal (1882)
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of Tübingen
Influences Robert Bunsen

Julius Lothar Meyer (Varel, August 19, 1830 – Tübingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany), April 11, 1895) was a German chemist and contemporary competitor to Dmitri Mendeleev who took to the task of creating the first periodic Table of chemical elements.

Julius Lothar Meyer’s Biography

Lothar Meyer was born in Varel, Oldenburg, in 1830. Son of the physician Friedrich August Meyer and Anna Biermann. He studied at the universities of Zurich, Würzburg, Heidelberg and Königsberg (today Kaliningrad). In 1867 he was professor of natural sciences in Eberswalde. Since 1876 he was professor of chemistry at the University of Tübingen (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen).

In an article published in 1870 he presented his discovery of the periodic law that states that the properties of the elements are periodic functions of their atomic mass.

In his work Modern theories of chemistry and its meaning for chemical statics, compiled according to the reform of the atomic weights of Cannizzaro, he established a table of the elements arranged according to the increasing atomic weight, similar to that of DI Mendeleev, and noted that the elements that have similar chemical properties come to fall in the same vertical columns. This periodicity of the properties of the elements as a function of their atomic weight was later developed and completed.

Published in Breslau in 1864, this text constitutes an important point of view of the ways of seeing of the time, which are exposed and considered from the same critical point of view. Four years earlier, in 1860, at the Congress of Karlsruhe, Cannizzaro had vindicated Avogadro’s hypothesis, which had been ignored or forgotten since 1811. Meyer was among the few who understood the correctness of those ideas, and became his vigorous advocate . In the book he exposes Avogadro’s hypothesis and discusses it widely, placing it at the base of the other laws of chemistry.

Defender of the use of the atomic weights against the one of the equivalents, after having shown with all its importance the opinions of Gerhard on the organic compounds, Meyer exposes his idea about the numerical relations between these atomic weights, and puts ofhighlight the contacts between these relationships in some series of elements that have an analogy of chemical behavior, and those between the molecular weights of some organic series. The last part of the work can be considered as a precedent of the periodic classification that, independently of Mendeleev, although more imperfectly, was enunciated by Meyer himself in 1869.

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